Bomkai saree, often referred to as Sonepuri, is a true testament to the rich cultural heritage of India. With its origins dating back to 600 BC, this remarkable piece of handloom artistry has captivated the hearts of people across the world. From its humble beginnings in Ganjam to its grandeur presence in Subarnapur, the journey of Bomkai saree is a story of evolution, art, and tradition.
The Legacy of Supremacy:
Once reserved exclusively for Brahmins and sacred occasions, Bomkai sarees held a distinct air of aristocracy. As time swept away superstitions, this art form became a symbol of cultural inclusivity. Originating from Ganjam, the sarees found their way to Subarnapur under the reign of Ramai Devi. Inspired by the intricate designs of Khandagiri Caves, Bomkai sarees narrate tales of mythology and history through their motifs and patterns.
The Hands Behind the Craft:
At the heart of the Bomkai saree craft lies the skillful hands of the “Bhulia” community from Subarnapur. Their meticulous craftsmanship is evident in the intricate detailing and structured designs that adorn each saree. Crafting a single masterpiece requires the collective effort of four to five pairs of skilled hands over a span of nearly 35 days. Tribal art, mythological characters, and nature-inspired elements like tortoises, lotuses, and birds come together to create a visual delight.
The Process Unveiled:
The journey of creating a Bomkai saree is a meticulous process that begins with weaving silk or cotton into yarn. These yarns are then spun into bobbins and pins before being sorted for wrap and weft in an array of color combinations. The yarns are meticulously measured, tied, and dyed to achieve the desired patterns and colors. While borders are exclusively processed using the wrap method, Palavas and Anchal incorporate both warp and weft techniques. The traditional “jaalas” continue to be an integral part of the tying process.
Striking Features of Bomkai:
The allure of Bomkai sarees lies in their unique temple-inspired designs. The uneven and discontinuous patterns give the sarees an enchanting appeal. With a new glimmer base, Bomkai sarees have seamlessly blended traditional handloom aesthetics with contemporary charm, making them a sought-after choice globally. The Pallavas boast latticework and double shading, creating a truly spectacular visual impact. The vibrant color palette ensures that Bomkai silk sarees cater to all fashion preferences, making them versatile and timeless.
Bomkai sarees have found their way into the limelight on numerous occasions. Notably, international festivals witnessed Kathak dancers adorned in these exquisite creations, while the iconic Aishwarya Rai chose a “RADHAKUNJA” Bomkai saree for her wedding, designed by Chaturbhuj Meher from Sonepur. The recognition received for its beauty and artistry earned Bomkai sarees a GI tag in 2009, solidifying their significance as a cultural treasure.
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Bomkai sarees, also known as SONEPURI, stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of Indian craftsmanship. From their origins in Ganjam to global recognition, these sarees have seamlessly merged tradition and contemporary allure. The intricate process, skilled hands, and unique designs make Bomkai sarees a true work of art, while their association with celebrated figures adds to their charm. With a GI tag to their name, Bomkai sarees continue to shine as a symbol of pride, embodying the rich cultural tapestry of India.